• Interview with Buck Berk

Small Biz Spotlight

1) Please introduce yourself: Hello, I’m Buck Berk!

2) What is your title? Owner/Operator of Coffe Mob coffee shop, in Ditmas Park Brooklyn

3) How many employees work there? 6

4) What do you find as the most challenging aspect when it comes to managing others?

Making sure my employees stay motivated and excited about their responsibilities when they become routine.

5) How do you think your leadership skills have evolved since you started the business?

Since our business started, my leadership skills have improved. Starting a flagship location has it's own learning curve, so through unforeseen obstacles i've gained confidence in my ability to manage, not only my business but my employees too.

6)What made you want to start this business? As my first business, I wanted to create something service related that would also be a meeting point for the neighbors in my community to learn about one another but also to continue to develop these relationships.

7) Who have been your mentors and/or sources of inspiration? I am inspired by the hard working farmers in deprived countries who struggle every day to grow high quality coffee which people like myself enjoy the luxury of turning into a product for the everyday consumer.

8) What strategies have proven to be most effective for you to help keep your employees motivated to perform @ a high level when things become routine? Paid training sessions. This is a great motivation factor as my employees love improving their skills which is not always easy to do in a normal work environment. Also group "field/trips" or "get-togethers" are good for staff bonding as my staff does not always get a chance to work together.

9) What are some of your favorite parts of owning a business? What are some of the difficulties you face on a regular basis? It’s great owning your own business for some reasons as many suspect, such as, you are your OWN boss! But with that comes big responsibilities and when you are a small start up business like Coffee Mob it is always a struggle to make enough revenue to expand.

10) Finally, how would you like to see you business evolve over the next five years? I would like to see us expand to more locations!!!

To experience Buck and the gang’s coffee wizardy first hand, head over to Coffee Mob, 1514 Newkirk Ave Brooklyn, 11226. Tell ‘em E-I sent ya!

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